As teachers prepare to ballot on the McCrone agreement, even Burns suppers have become a forum for keenly held views.
In deepest Lanarkshire, the tables included one of local Educational Institute of Scotland activists and one of Labour councillors. Along came th raffle and the first ticket out, giving the pick of the (mostly liquid) prizes, had been bought by one of the teachers.
From the table of council paymasters came the plaintive comment: "Teachers! Twenty-three per cent and they win the bloody raffle."